Friday, October 13, 2006

Crazy mother

You may or may not know, I had (have) a crazy mother. When we were younger, she cycled between just being demanding to being downright mean and insane. For example, she liked everything to be just so (that didn't mean our house was clean, nor was it organized, but damn it those cups better be in the cupboard with the handles pointed the right way or there was hell to pay). She didn't do it herself, but she had high expectations for the rest of us, and we were the ones that did the housework and chores. Putting the salt shaker three inches to the left of where it "belonged" in the cupboard could spark an outburst that uncluded pulling out and whipping everything from the cupboard down the stairs, breaking dishes, and would sometimes culminate in carrying one of us (the likely offender or maybe just the one she could reach) by the hair to show us the mess so we could clean it up PROPERLY. Mommy dearest had nothing on that. One night, mother went to get a sheet from the linen cupboard and saw that somebody had folded the fitted sheets incorrectly. We were all in bed. I remember how my heart jumped when I heard her scream, how I covered my head with my blanket. Hoping that she would get somebody ELSE. She pulled us all out of bed by our hair, our legs, our necks. Dragged us into the hallway to see the crime then pulled everything out of the linen closet. We had to bring it down, wash and dry them, and it all had to be ironed before it could be put back. I vaguely remember my father wandering into the hallway with a confused look, before stumbling back into their room and going back to sleep. In my dreams he always rescued us, told her she was being insane, made her stop. And while sometimes he did argue with her, the end result was always the same. He would retreat, and her tirade would continue. You never knew when she would turn. A mother-daughter shopping trip would lull me into thinking maybe we had a bond. Maybe things will be better. But no. I was never thin enough, pretty enough, blonde enough. Clothes never fit right. I was always too warm. I always did something wrong. As an adult I vowed to myself that I would not be that crazy mother. I was going to be a GOOD mom. A mom that baked cookies and pulled sleds and supplied finger paints. The mother that made her own popsicles and healthy cupcakes. The mother that made sure the child was properly dressed but allowed her to make her own fashion choices. I have read to DD since before she was born. I wanted her life to be enriched, not to live in fear of putting the milk on the wrong shelf of the fridge. Well, ladies and gents, it has all backfired. My dd hates me as much as I hated my own mother when she had her tirades. No matter what I do for her, it is never good enough. Never what she wants or wanted. She is like her father, in that she needs a cheerleader to do ANYTHING. From going to the bathroom to putting on her socks to going to school. And frankly, this morning, I put down the pompoms. Since school started back I have spent my mornings running around like a chicken with her head cut off. Making lunches, feeding pets, dressing children that are limp as noodles because they want to wear something "else" but don't know what that is. This week it all came to a head, we have been late three times despite the fact that she is up in more than enough time for us to get out the door and to school early. DH has been here, and in earlier weeks he jumped in and helped. But he has lapsed back into that "stand in the hallway with arms crossed tapping the foot" as I do everything and DD resists. I am not proud of this, but today I was reduced to screaming until I burst a blood vessel in my eye (and I think I may have tore a vocal cord), and literally dragging her out the door and into the car. She wouldn't get dressed. She wouldn't brush her hair or let me brush it. She refused to wear her winter coat, wanted the lighter coat that I swear to effing god she refused to wear the day before because "she hates it". Then she ran and hid until we were late. I just don't know what to do. She is so resistant for everything, even things she WANTS to go to. Parties that she is overexcited about and doesn't stop talking about, when it is time to get ready and go she resists. Screams and cries over dress choices, won't dress or let me dress her. Refuses to have her hair done. Won't put on shoes or a coat. Hides when it is time to go out the door. But if you even suggest that we aren't going, absolute hysterics. I did not hurt her, although I am thinking I could have. I wanted to. I wanted to throttle her and yell "WHAT IS WRONG WITH YOU? JUST PUT YOUR COAT ON!". Why do things have to be so hard? She won't do her homework (she lies on the floor face down for hours at a time to resist). She helps around the house if she feels like it and on her own terms. The house is completely torn apart and I can't keep up with it. I am sure the neighbours have something to talk about after the spectacle this morning. Me kicking the door open to drag DD outside kicking and screaming, who had been jammed into her coat without even putting the arms in the sleeves and her shoes had been jammed on her feet and not tied. I confess I wanted to just drop her in the driveway and leave her there. I got her to school, we were late, and I used the drop off lane (which she hates and I normally don't approve of). There was no good-bye hug. I basically pushed her out and tossed her bag out behind her, then pulled away. Now, I KNOW all of this is not good. I know that is not proper parenting. That a good mother would be able to find the proper motivation to get her daughter going. Positive reinforcement, not negative punishment. But frankly my dear, at this moment, I don't give a damn. I don't care if she ever goes to school or leaves the house again. She can stop brushing her hair, she can stop wearing socks. She can go outside with no coat on and freeze like an idiot. Because I don't know what to DO. I can't go on like this, that is for sure. Sigh.

Wednesday, October 11, 2006

Where is my cocoon?

This morning I did NOT want to get out of bed. I was wrapped like a burrito in the comfortor (which apparently I stole while DH was in the shower), along with a snoring pug who was nestled at the small of my back and a cat who was draped around my ankles. The house was cold, the morning was dim due to rain and the shortening of days here, and I was toasty warm wrapped in a blanket being hypnotised by dog snores and cat purrs. When the alarm clock went off I tried to protest with a groan, but my throat was too sore for that. Not an "I have a cold and I am sick" kind of sore throat, but rather the "I was up too late and up too early too many days in a row" kind of sore throat. The "no way am I moving much before a cup of something hot" kind of feeling. Well, that or another hour of sleep but we all know that was not going to happen. Recently I have been finding that there is too much good tv, and not enough time to watch it. I know, I know! But come on! Does every evening have to have like, eight hours of programming I would like to see? Thank goodness for Friday's when nothing is on so I can watch some of the several hours recorded and not viewed. That is the problem with recording shows you don't have time for. Most likely, if you don't have time to view it when it is on, you don't have time to watch it period! If it wasn't for baseball pre-empting House and Bones, I wouldn't even be able to watch Top Chef, Design Interns, and X-weighted. Next week if baseball is over I am screwed. I don't even want to think about tonight, and Thursdays? Forget it. There are like solid four hour blocks of programming that are not to be missed. CSI. Lost. Survivor. ER. America's Next Top Model. Yeah, those days are just too busy. On the bright side however, I knit while I watch so I'll be making good headway on christmas projects. A relative of mine who is...well...."robust" has requested a knitted gift this year. Specifically a pair of yoga pants, a pattern for which she saw in a magazine. The thought of knitting an entire pair of pants for anybody other than an infant kind of makes me black out a little. I nearly lose my mind between the ribbed hem and yoke of a sweater, no way would I survive acres of pant leg. It seems knitted loungewear (note that she didn't want to actually use the pants to do YOGA) is an up-and-coming fashion trend. I mumbled something along the lines of machine knits being smoother and thinner and a somewhat graphic desription of what purl bumps do to backsides under pressure then ran like the wind. She has about as much chance of getting a pair of knitted yoga pants out of me, as my dad does getting socks for his size thirteen feet. Ain't bloody likely LOLOLOL. There is no way I have time to start it now, but I want to make myself something. Something ambitious but forgiving LOL. I am thinking a tanky top type thing from "Big Girl Knits", maybe in something hand dyed and luxurious. The plan is to write it off as a Christmas or birthday gift from the pets, so DH can't give me 'that look' when I buy more yarn or needles. The fiber can't be overly warm or sheddy so the research is going to be pretty intense. I am not afraid of hand washing and drying flat after shaping, but terrified of making something too warm for me to wear, or something that will shed or give me hives. Nothing shapeless or an amorpheous blob of fiber either. Something fitted. Something shaped. Something with short row boob room. Somebody come and hold my hand, because I am scared to death LOLOL! I'll let you know if I find anything interesting or promising. But for now, I am going to go get myself a cup of something warm and soothing, and try to sneak off to find the comfortor again. Think anybody will notice if I play hooky and spend the rest of the day burrito wrapped?

Tuesday, October 10, 2006

Just call me grandma

For those who are wondering (and you know you are wondering!), yes, Princess the potato bug is still alive and well and living the good life in her container. She gets treated like royalty, what with food and regular mistings of her paper towel. As far as we can tell, a potato bug couldn't ask for more out of life. Unless she has babies, in which case that would be way too creepy for me and she is out on her ear ;). But there have been other events in our household. I am now the proud grandmother of........a clutch of snail eggs! Now, this snail has been alone in the tank for oh, about a year. And this species is not supposed to be hermaphroditic. But there they are. And we thought at first they would all be infertile, but in just a couple of days you can see which ones are developing, as they have a dark dot in the middle and are getting bigger. Before anybody panics, we are not talking thousands of snails here, like those little ones that ride in on aquarium plants and take over the tank, bathtub, pool, and storm drain. These are big snails, mystery or apple snails. And it looks like part of the clutch may have fallen into the water and became goldfish snacks, because a big part of it is missing and there are only a few dozen left clinging to the glass. DD is absolutely thrilled, and checks on them constanly. So many life lessons recently. I will keep you all posted, because even though I am sure you all have an actual life, I also like to believe that you are crazy nerds like me and find stuff like this fascinating. The Canadian Thanksgiving was this weekend. We went out to dinner with DH's family on Sunday, then had a turkey dinner with all the trimmings at my parents place (and all our extended family all in the same room, it is a wonder we all survived LOL) on Monday. DD had a wonderful time playing with cousins. They played football outside until it got too dark and cold, then moved to the basement for dancing and karaoke. Add a nice dinner and lots of dessert and we couldn't have planned a better evening for her. My cousin's kids were there as well, and DD adores them (even though they are a bit older) and they are always so good to her, and it made it even better. I made a bit of headway with the sock and with the wrap, but not enough to take a picture of. Who wants to see ANOTHER inch of whatever ROFL. As for the sock, I don't know if I like the pattern I am using. It is a flap heel, with short row shaping. But it isn't rounded enough for me and there are a few issues in the pattern I have had to gloss over. Nothing serious, but at the same time I don't think a simple sock pattern should need so much adjusting. For example, when I tried to make the heel flap as written, the same stitches would be slipped each pass. So the stitches you are knitting or purling pile up, but the stitches you are slipping do not, because you aren't adding any length, if that makes sense. Have you ever been sewing and got the bobbin thread snagged in the feed dogs so that your fabric was all bunched and the thread all loopy and ugly? Yeah. That is exactly how it looked. I had to rip back and try again, this time abandoning the slip stitches for simply purling back on the wrong side rows. I also noticed that in the short row shaping, even though I double counted to make sure, they tell me to transfer a certain number of stitches onto that needle then they go ahead and give instructions for a whole other stitch count. I used an online sock calculator, so I will have to go looking and see if maybe there are corrections. Have you ever had a craft project to do, and normally you would be all over it, but for some reason this time you are dragging your feet? I have three blocks of foam to carve into heads. One to replace the last witch head that had been sewn and stuffed (the foam works SO much better), one to replace a hack job we did for frankenstein, and one to replace the wolf man that crumbled to pieces last year. Paper mache made with plaster of paris is not so great in damp conditions. Too bad, because he was a work of art and will be hard to recreate. I think we managed to salvage the wig, so that will help. It has to be this week or next, because after that I am either not home or too busy. Just can't get motivated to do it. I have to get some potatoes and cut them into blocks for my models. Carving INTO something to make negative spaces (like eyes) and positive spaces (noses and cheeks and brows) is not natural to me and takes me a bit to figure out what to do....like how deep to cut and all. I won't be making stone carvings any time soon ROFL. Now the painting part? THAT I can do. Can't believe Halloween is almost here. I am SO not ready. I don't even want to talk about christmas. I better get my arse knitting.